Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Ecclesiastes 7:16-18 Devotion by Stephen Taylor

Ecclesiastes 7:8

Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.


Last night, we were blessed to be able to go to the Hope and Light concert at Cedarville University. After the concert, we were on our way home, and someone said something that I thought was profound and powerful. It went something like this: “I’m probably in the last seasons of life, and I want to do something that matters. I don’t want to waste what time I have left; I want to finish strong and finish well!”


What a beautiful heart behind that statement. In our culture, it’s the opposite. It’s working hard in the beginning so you can coast at the end. But not in the Kingdom. We are called to run better, stronger, and harder at the end than at the beginning. As we grow in Christ, we should be growing to resemble Him more and more! The way that we finish this race can have a direct impact on those coming behind us. The way we finish can determine how they start. If we finish well, they may start even better, but if they are left picking up the pieces, then that’s gonna hinder how they start.


One day this race will end; whether Christ comes back or we go to Him, the question isn’t if it will but if we will finish well for His glory, the edification of His Bride, and the sharing of His truth in this dark world. You might not get to choose how you start, but you can definitely choose how you finish and Who you finish with!


Acts 20:24 - But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.



Ecclesiastes 7:16-18

Do not be overighteous, neither be overwise— why destroy yourself? Do not be overwicked, and do not be a fool— why die before your time? It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.


We are called to live a life of balance, but the question is, who’s scales are we using? Think about the short history of America and how the line of what’s acceptable has changed from generation to generation. What was outrageous and scandalous just 70 years ago is now commonly accepted as the norm. Sins that people used to hide and revile are now applauded and accepted as “just the way things are.”


One of the reasons it’s gotten this bad is that we use our scale of right and wrong instead of the Lord’s. But if we don’t know His scale, we can’t properly assess right from wrong. Think about it. If you look at things without a Biblical background, I can see how you could be deceived and believe the lies the world sells you. But those of us who know better have to do better at sharing the truth. Those of us who belong to Jesus have to say, “Yes, He loves us. That’s why He gave His life to set us free from our sins, but no, He doesn’t approve of any of our sins! Whether it’s sexual immorality or greed, it doesn’t matter. It’s still a sin, and Christ died for them all!”


The Bible warns against extremes for many reasons, but a couple, I believe, are that extremes push people away and close us off to change, they leave no room for grace, or they trample all over it. Legalism and liberalism both kill the fruit just as quickly; one’s not better than the other.


Sin is sin, and there is only One Savior! Jesus was the perfect balance, so for us to be balanced, we have to stay in Him! Surrender to Christ, be reconciled to the Father, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you in this life of balance! Thank You, Lord!


2 Peter 3:17-18 - Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen.


God bless! I love you all! Glory, Honor, and Praise now and forever to Papa God, Jesus Christ our King, and the Holy Spirit who leads us in a life of balance!




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